Sunday, September 23, 2012

Purple Record in Hongdae, Seoul

Rochelle and I went to the college student/hipster/musician's paradise of Hongdae Saturday night and paid another visit to Purple Record. Damn did it feel good to buy some CDs again. We'd been there once before, when I bought the Lowdown 30 CD, but this time, I was really in the mood to get some new tunes. The store carries good range of music but I found it lacking in the punk and metal selection. Then again, this being Korea, a lot of small label releases probably don't make it over here too easily. Purple does boast excellent rock, jazz, and blues albums.

The sign talks about a sale on LPs.

This had to get posted. "Black" music?! Rochelle and I found this, er, interesting. What exactly constitutes "black" music now, anyway? At least it didn't say "Race Records." 

Want to see and hear what I bought? Here you go...I've also posted this to my other blog, Investing in Polyurethane Discs, which I've started reviving lately.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra's first LP, The Inner Mounting Flame, from 1971.

Their second LP, Birds of Fire, from 1972.

Two things spurred these purchases:

1. I had a beyond cool class called American Popular Music during my freshman year of college. Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum taught the class and he'd played these guys during a lecture on jazz and its influence on rock music. The song he played: The Inner Mounting Flame's "Meeting Of The Spirits," a veritable explosion of sound and melody. The song came to mind a few days ago, so I looked it up on YouTube, played it, and listened to it anew after 7 years.

2. Henry Rollins mentioned Birds of Fire's title track in his book Fanatic! He writes:
This is John McLaughlin's monster band....if you like what you hear, the record is cool and so is The Inner Mounting Flame. I think [Black Flag's guitarist] Greg Ginn really got a lot from McLaughlin and this record. I checked out the song and yep, it sounded good!

[Note: I bought these two based on three songs ("Meeting of the Spirits," "You Know, You Know," and "Birds of Fire") and their reputation as influential albums. Sometimes you get a gut feeling that an album's just going to be good--these are two such albums. Even though I'm loving The Inner Mounting Flame on first listen, I already know that the album will get even better with each listen. These guys knew something. "Dance of the Maya" gets heavier than Black Sabbath at times. "Vital Transformation" has an insanely complicated and precise drum and guitar intro. "You Know, You Know" rides a gentle groove for a while until hard stabs of dissonant, distorted guitar break up the melody. Need I say more? Fans of Hendrix, King Crimson, and Black Sabbath should listen in]

[Fanatic!: Songs Lists and Notes from the Harmony In My Head Radio Show. Rollins, Henry. Las Angeles: 2.13.61, 2006]

Bob Marley's 1973 album Burnin'

The video above's the Deluxe Edition of the album, which I haven't heard yet. I have the single disc remastered version.

Rochelle had bought me the vinyl LP of Legend to celebrate our 100 days together and it sparked an interest in this big musical figure. I've always known about Marley and his songs, but hadn't spent much time listening to him until now. He's good stuff. Reggae's still largely unknown to me, but I like the laidback grooves and the uplifting songs. Burnin' is full of quality songs. Favorite tracks:
  • Get Up, Stand Up
  • I Shot The Sheriff
  • Small Axe
  • Burnin' and Lootin'
  • One Foundation
Extra info dept: The book Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders The Classics tore about Marley's famous Exodus album. The book isn't here in Korea, so I can't say anymore about that right now. The memory's fuzzy.

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